I'd like to access the brain of the internet, if I may. I have the sad task of returning a cat to the shelter whence she came. The other cats will not accept her, nor does she want to have anything to do with even their friendly overtures. The other cats have now begun relentlessly tormenting her and preventing her from using any of the litter boxes. (Every time I scoop a box, the other cats come RUNNING because they think she's trying to sneak a pee.) When she walks from one room to another, she has her tail tucked and she walks slowly and carefully, looking around constantly and expecting to be attacked---expectations that are periodically confirmed. She is not living a happy life right now.
We've consulted with the vet and various online resources, as well as studying all the pamphlets from the shelter, and we've tried a number of expensive and non-expensive solutions with results that seemed promising at first but have all come to naught. This is not working. It's a bad match. Which is sad because we love her and want to keep her.
The sad part is entirely ours: when I feel like this is too hard a task, it is comforting to imagine her in a house where she can go where she wants and not have to worry about being attacked; where she can go to the bathroom without the equivalent of someone slamming open the door while she's mid-pee. The shelter is a no-kill shelter (the kind that charges you to bring in an animal, and sometimes doesn't have room for new admissions), and they do a wonderful job of taking care of animals in both short-term and long-term care. (Our adoption contract specifies that we have to return her there if we don't keep her.) She's a wonderful cat, and I think she'll get taken quickly: she's great with children and with people she doesn't know, and she's a sweetheart, and she's pretty.
Here's the part of the internet's large and extensive brain I'd like to access: Do you have any tips for bringing an animal to the shelter? That is, as a former pharmacy technician I could suggest you not say "What takes so long? Don't you just have to grab a pack off the shelf??" (answer: "No"), and as a former daycare caregiver I can say we definitely believe that babies poop in the car on the way to daycare but that we believe it more if the parent then changes the diaper, and as someone who has done some dating I can explain that "It's not you, it's me," "I hope we can still be friends," and "I LOVE you, I'm just not IN love with you" should be avoided. What I'm hoping is that some of YOU have inside information about animal drop-offs. What's good/bad to say? What will communicate our good-person status and remove some of the disappointed-in-you disapproval from the faces? What will make it clear that this is a decision we agonized about and tried many things to fix, rather than that we are people who went "Meh, this didn't turn out to be 100% easy and awesome so never mind it's just an animal"?
Life-improving products, part 4 - (Continued from part 1, part 2, and part 3.) Stearns Youth Life Vest (photo from Amazon.com). I’d been too scared to take the kids to any body of water oth...